Online registration for the annual Holiday Park Pridefest has begun, with important deadlines looming for those seeking vendor booths.

According to Logistics Director Barrie Wood, Pride Fort Lauderdale has contracted with Thundertix, and all registrations are now being done online and on a first-come, first served basis, starting Monday, July 13.

“Prior to that date, we will honor requests for returning vendors to select the spot they had last February,” Wood said. Vendors should go online to www.pridefortlauderdale.org, which enables them to register with a major credit card in hand.

“This year’s Pridefest will have more open space indoors, so there will be less booths available inside the auditorium,” Wood advised. The festival this year will include an indoor exhibition from the Stonewall Museum and presentations from professionals in the fields of family and estate planning, parenting, law, finance and bankrupty.

Stated Rocky Bowell, the group’s secretary, “we want an event that unifies the community and reaches all ages. We can’t be about beer alone.”

The outdoor theme, along with entertainers who have not been contracted for as of yet, will include films run in conjunction with the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Fest. During the daytime, a host of traditional vendors will be supplemented with an animal petting zoo and pony walk.

The newest venture by Pride Fort Lauderdale will promote weekend AIDS testing. Norm Kent, the Pride Chair, says he would like to see the AIDS Health Care Foundation, a presenting sponsor, along with Care Resource, Broward House, and the Pride Center run at least 1,000 instant HIV tests over the two day weekend, October 10 and 11.

The big hit of the weekend may be the Himmarrshee Street closing party in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Sunday evening. Coordinated by Brian Wilson, it will help promote Sunserve’s youth services programs. Many dignitaries have confirmed their presence, including elected local officeholders.

Final details for a parade, if there is one, will be announced before the end of the month, the Board reports. Volunteers can contact the office at 954 561 2020 if they seek to participate.

The festival will be held in Holiday Park, with an admission entry fee of $10 per day, and $5 for those under 21. For those seeking entry into the VIP tent, with air conditioning, drinks, and upscale food entrees’, there will be a $50 entry fee.

“We are still planning and finalizing,” Rocky Bowell said, but “we have done it before and the community knows it is a good time for two days, with businesses and individuals able to interact socially and professionally in a healthy, secure environment, in a beautiful Fort Lauderdale park.”


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